Myron Priest was appointed Monday during the Fayette County Commissioners meeting to fill a board vacancy at Fayette County Memorial Hospital.
Priest’s appointment will fill the remaining term of board member Jim Ward, 77, who died earlier this month. Ward was serving his second term on the FCMH board.
Priest was nominated by the current FCMH board.
Dan Dean, Fayette County Commissioner, said Priest had been approached and asked if he was interested in filling the vacancy. “He said he’d make the commitment to finish out Mr. Ward’s term,” said Dean.
During Monday’s Fayette County Commissioners meeting with David Bender, Fayette County Probate Judge and Steven Beathard, Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Judge, Dean made the motion to appoint Priest to finish the term of Ward. Beathard seconded the motion. Bender abstained.
Priest previously served on the FCMH board from 2007 to 2015.
“We’re pretty happy about it because of his former experience there,” said Jack DeWeese, Fayette County Commissioner, Monday. DeWeese said Priest’s former experience in working with the FCMH board means there won’t be much of a learning curve in the transition of bringing in a new board member.
Dean said he has worked with Priest on the hospital board in the past.
“He’s a really great board member,” said Dean. Dean said Priest’s leadership with the board in the past has done a lot to help get the hospital back on solid footing after the hospital had to make adjustments to the changing medical field and funding. Dean and DeWeese said the hospital is one of about a dozen governmental hospitals remaining in the state.
Priest said he’s excited to serve on the board to fill Ward’s vacancy, which is set to expire in 2021.
“Jim was a good friend and I felt like I could honor Jim further by filling out his term. It was unexpected that I was asked and it didn’t take me long to make my mind up,” said Priest Monday.
Priest also serves as a board member for the Fayette County Board of Elections.
“He’s a great guy to be willing to do the Board of Elections and the hospital board,” said Beathard.
Priest said he is looking forward to working with the hospital board and the CEO, Mike Diener.
“We have responsibility for operation of the hospital,” said Priest. “I’m very optimistic about his abilities.”